WASHINGTON— In a blistering report, Republican lawmakers sharply criticized Labor secretary nominee Thomas Perez over what they said was a questionable deal he brokered while serving as head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
The 63-page report, issued Sunday after months of investigation, is certain to provide fodder for Republicans seeking to challenge Perez at his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday.
The GOP lawmakers accuse Perez of misusing his power last year to persuade the city of St. Paul, Minn., to withdraw a housing discrimination case before it could be heard by the Supreme Court. In exchange, the Justice Department agreed not to intervene in two whistleblower cases against St. Paul that could have won up to $200 million for taxpayers.
Perez has defended his reason for wanting St. Paul to drop its case, telling investigators that he feared an adverse ruling from the Supreme Court would jeopardize the government’s use of statistics to win housing discrimination cases. The Justice Department also says Perez got proper clearance and made the deal in the best interests of the nation.
But Republicans say the deal was dubious, that Perez misled senior officials about his intentions, and that he tried to cover up the true reason for his decision not to intervene in the whistleblower cases.
Read More at OfficialWire . By Sam Hananel.
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